Government Secrecy: Classic and Contemporary Readings

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Overview

Government Secrecy presents the best that has been thought and written on the subject, including history and philosophy, theory and practice, justification and critique. Through readings, which range from Georg Simmel on secrecy and Max Weber on bureaucracy and secret-keeping, to post-9/11 concerns regarding freedom of information and presidential secrecy, it enables readers to explore the issues and questions that surround the government's right to keep necessary secrets—or not.

This collection, and the diverse perspectives it represents, will engage students and other interested parties in a discussion of the benefits—and dangers—of government secrecy. The collection is designed to generate questions regarding historical accuracy of government information, information ethics, professional neutrality, ownership of information, public right to information, national security, and transparency. The essays explore the criteria and conditions for government secret-keeping, as well as contributing to public and academic discussion of the role of secrets in democracies.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This collection contains 45 historical and contemporary readings on the topic of government secrecy in the US in different time periods and contexts. Maret (library and information science, San Jose State U.) and Goldman (intelligence, National Defence Intelligence College) include readings written as early as 1787 (by Thomas Jefferson), up to 2008, most of which are from the mid-twentieth century and later. Readings cover the history, philosophy, theory, practice, critique, and justification of the field, and consider definitions, organizational aspects in selected intelligence agencies such as the CIA and NSA, criteria for government secret keeping, secrecy as regulation, national security and presidential power, and after 9/11 and the future of information."

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Reference & Research Book News

From the Publisher

"This collection contains 45 historical and contemporary readings on the topic of government secrecy in the US in different time periods and contexts. Maret (library and information science, San Jose State U.) and Goldman (intelligence, National Defence Intelligence College) include readings written as early as 1787 (by Thomas Jefferson), up to 2008, most of which are from the mid-twentieth century and later. Readings cover the history, philosophy, theory, practice, critique, and justification of the field, and consider definitions, organizational aspects in selected intelligence agencies such as the CIA and NSA, criteria for government secret keeping, secrecy as regulation, national security and presidential power, and after 9/11 and the future of information."

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Reference & Research Book News

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591586906
  • Publisher: Libraries Unlimited
  • Publication date: 12/30/2008
  • Pages: 820
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

DR. SUSAN L. MARET is a part-time faculty member in the Library and Information Sciences Program at San Jose State University. Before completing her PhD in Critical and Information Studies from The Union Institute and University in 2002, she worked as an academic and government documents librarian. She holds an MLS degree from the University of Arizona and is the author of numerous books, website and database reviews, and On Their Own Terms: A Lexicon with an Emphasis on Information-Related Terms Produced by the U.S. Federal Government, located at the Federation of American Scientists Website (fas.org/sgp/library/maret.pdf).

DR. JAN GOLDMAN joined the National Defense Intelligence College as a professor where he teaches intelligence courses in strategic warning, threat management and ethics. He has been working in the Intelligence Community for over 25 years. He has written or edited numerous articles and publications including Words of Intelligence: A Dictionary (2006); Ethics of Spying: A Reader for the Intelligence Community (2005); and the recently declassified book, Anticipating Surprise: Analysis for Strategic Warning (2004).

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Steven Aftergood, Project on Government Secrecy, Federation of American Scientists

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Chapter 1: Perspectives on Secrecy

Chapter 2: A Short History of Government Secrecy

Chapter 3: Secrecy as Regulation

Chapter 4: Organizational Aspects of Secrecy

Chapter 5: Necessary Secrets: Alternative Views on the Need for Secrets and Secret Keeping

Chapter 6: The Uncertain Future of Information: Secrecy Post 9-11

Appendix A: Major Reviews of the Secrecy System

Appendix B: Laws that Restrict Public Access to Federal Records

Sources

Glossary

Further Reading

Index

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